See the city float and more at festival parade

By Sara Bruestle | Aug 15, 2012
Courtesy of: Terry Preshaw Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine waves with Grand Marshal Bruce Richter and his wife, Tude Richter, during the Mukilteo Float's very first public outing in the 2008 Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Parade. See the float this year in the parade on Sept. 8.

Of all the marching bands, drill teams, color guards, floats and show cars in the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Parade – perhaps none is more quintessentially Mukilteo than the city float.

The 28-by-15-foot float, which features the Mukilteo lighthouse and beachfront, has been a parade favorite since its debut in 2008. See it again in this year’s parade on Saturday, Sept. 8, which starts at 10:30 a.m. on Harbour Pointe Boulevard.

Waving from the city float will be grand marshal Jesse Jones of KING 5, Mayor Joe Marine and the Mayor for a Day.

“A lot of people are very, very happy when they see it,” said City Administrator Joe Hannan, who drives the float. “They say, ‘Oh, cool!’ They’re proud to see the lighthouse.”

This year’s parade has upwards of 60 entries. See the Harbour Pointe Middle School Marching Band, Kamiak High School Cheerleaders, Mukilteo Police Department, Mukilteo Fire Department, Taekwondo Way, Boy Scout Troop 189, Mukilteo Jazzercise, Jackson High School Dance Team, Tulalip Casino, Pirates of Treasure Island, Keystone Kops and more.

“Everyone loves going to parades, kids especially,” said Kevin Witte, parade coordinator. “It’s a fun thing for them to sit and watch the different groups go by.

“It’s also a really great way for a lot of the community groups and businesses to get their name and face out into the community.”

Both the grand and children’s parades start at the corner of Chennault Beach Road and Harbour Pointe Boulevard. The children’s parade starts at 10:30 a.m., the grand parade at 11 a.m.

Those entries looking to be judged in the parade will be observed from the grandstand by a panel of judges. First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in several categories.

The grandstand and announcer will be located across from Kamiak High School on 10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd.

“When they reach the grandstand, they will have about 30-40 seconds to perform right there in front of the judges,” Witte said. “Bands will play their song, flag teams will do their routine, a float may have different things shooting off of it.”

Harbour Pointe Boulevard will be closed between Chennault Beach Road and 47th Place W. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the day of the parade.

Parade parking will be available on the surrounding streets. There is no parking along the parade route.

“I really enjoy seeing all the fun the kids and families are having,” Witte said. “The kids’ faces light up as the fire department goes by or one of the pirates comes up and shakes their hand or gives them a button.

“They just have that look of pure excitement and joy on their faces. That’s what it’s all about is the kids coming out and the families just enjoying a community event.”

In 2008, Mayor Marine suggested that the city have its own float in the parade. A Mukilteo Float Committee was formed, with the president of Dillon Works Inc. at the head.

Originally, the Mukilteo-based Dillon Works produced props and sets for use in commercials, photo shoots and movies – although now it will design almost anything. President Mike Dillon agreed to make a float at cost for the city.

The committee brainstormed with Dillon to design a float that captured the “image of Mukilteo.” Most of the designs they came up with incorporated the Mukilteo lighthouse. It was settled.

The city had Dillon Works convert a 16-foot flatbed truck from Public Works into the float. In about six months, the company had produced a Mukilteo lighthouse and beachfront float, complete with a flagpole, flying seagulls, faux rocks and a fenced-in lawn.

“Every place we go, people love it,” Hannan said. “Dillon Works did a great job. It’s gorgeous.

“It looks like something out of Disneyland.”

The float has also made several appearances in other parades, including the Victoria Day Parade, Strawberry Festival, Tulalip Parade and Mount Lake Terrace Parade.

Want to be in the festival parade? Go to www.mukilteolighthousefestival.com or email info@mukilteofestival.org or call 425-263-8186 for an application. The deadline is Aug. 20.

The entry fee is $15-$30 for clubs and organizations, $75 for businesses and $150 for political groups. Non-profit groups may enter for free.

Call the Festival Office at 425-353-5516 or email parade@mukilteolighthousefestival.com for more information.

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